While no end of interesting illustrations could be mined from continuing to review Jimmy Akin’s desperate attempt to avoid admitting he simply doesn’t care to keep abreast with developments in his area of self-professed expertise, I likewise find the task most distasteful. I have not invested much time perusing the comments on Akin’s blog, but I did look through a few of them. I have no problems whatsoever with those who have blogs that in essence are web-boards with specific topics introduced by a single person or group of people. Isn’t that what many blogs have become? Akin writes an article. It has a particular topic. Then, the comments section becomes a “thread” with all sorts of folks chiming in. How is that at all different than the web-boards that populate the Internet and that I have found to be an endless black-hole into which you could quite honestly pour the entirety of your waking hours and never plumb the bottom? The only difference I can see is that on such blogs, one person, or group of people, get to determine the threads. Other than that, I see no difference. Now, I noted numerous complaints that I do not allow comments on this blog. Why? For the same reason we do not have a web-board. It would mean the end of writing books, chapters, articles, or anything else, as well as the end of debate preparation, research, etc. If someone wants to read the wide variety of opinions on theology and apologetics held by those who frequent the Internet, there are tens of thousands of sites that will allow you to do so. There are far fewer places where you can go and read about apologetics and theology from a Reformed Baptist perspective in words by someone who is directly involved in practicing that form of apologetics. I see little benefit in setting up a mud puddle at the bottom of each article so that those who wish to have a ready supply of mud can fling it with gusto and zeal. Let’s face it. Some who write comments have good insights. But the insightful and meaningful comment is the exception, not the rule. The majority of comments, especially in apologetics threads, are made by those who lack any foundation upon which to speak, and I simply see no reason to provide a platform for the expression of the collective ignorance of the “religious Internet.”
By the way, for those who have become completely confused, it is not ad-hominem argumentation (or even an expression of mean-spiritedness) to refer to someone as “ignorant.” I am ignorant of many things. Wide swaths of human knowledge mock me by painting me as the ignorant man I am. Anyone who takes offense at the use of the term is muddled, pure and simple. And when it comes to theology and apologetics, ignorance abounds…and is evidently quite blissful as well (to fulfill another popular proverb).
One comment left on Akin’s blog was posted in our chat channel, and I checked it out. It gives me a good segue into some commentary on the continuing Caner saga:
Aha, I just noticed that James White is a Reformed Protestant, believing in the Calvinist doctrine that God predestined some people for hell; in fact, that God CREATED some people KNOWING that they would go to hell and spend their eternal existance in utter torment.
If he can worship such a god, I know I can’t. That’s what drove me away from Protestantism in the first place.
But if he does believe in “preservation of the saints,” then James White can rest easy when it comes to MY soul, because I did “accept Jesus as my savior” in a Protestant church. According to Calvinism, I could now engage in witchcraft or become a mass murderer with no repentenance to the very end, and I would still enter heaven. Makes converting to Catholicism look rather innocent by comparison!
I have often commented on the Roman Catholic student who came to my office many years ago and upon asking about my belief in the freedom of God to save as He sees fit, and my reading from Romans 9, said very honestly, and very forthrightly, “I could never worship a God like that.” To which I replied, “I know. That proves my point.” Here is another example of that very attitude. Of course, this writer suffers from the same kind of ignorance as many non-Catholics today. She is using “predestined” in a non-biblical way, as a synonym for the divine decree rather than its gracious, biblical form. But be that as it may, she seems to have some fairly serious problems with the idea of God’s sovereign decree, omniscience, etc., and I personally would not want to have to stand before the Sovereign of the Universe someday and answer for the attitude that says, “I will only worship if you live up to my ideas of what God should be like.” Some might lament such a “conversion” to Roman Catholicism, but to be honest, I do not. If this person had such a deficient understanding and faith as a non-Catholic, there really is no “damage done” by moving to some level of comittment to a more “comfortable” system. Lost Protestants and lost Catholics both need that work of the Spirit that drives that man-centeredness into the abyss of abject prostration before a Holy God and true abandonment to grace that comes with that Isaiah-like experience (Isa. 6).
We should also note the complete misunderstanding of the preservation of the saints expressed here as well. I have no idea what kind of “experience” this woman had as a non-Catholic, but one thing is for certain, it reflects rather poorly upon the “get ’em in, dunk ’em, dump ’em” mentality that fills the numbers-hungry spectrum of “evangelicalism” today.
Which reminds me in passing. I listened to a wonderful sermon by pastor Roy Hargrave of Riverbend Community Church today. Here it is. Kudos! Men like this need to be encouraged. Drop him a line if you are likewise encouraged and let him know you are thankful for his stand for the truth.
Meanwhile, here you will read a short correspondence between a Liberty student and Ergun Caner. While I fully understand the student’s frustration (few have as much reason for frustration with Ergun Caner than I), I cannot say his language was appropriate for an initial approach. Be that as it may, Caner’s response is utterly amazing. Here’s what he sent to this student:
Well, after reading your e-mail, I can honestly say that I have no response for you. None. If, after reading the arrogance and contempt that permeates from the blogs, you can still feel that I was the one in the wrong, then no amount of logic, or biblical reason, can convince you otherwise. I “love to be heard?” Interesting. And if sarcasm bothers you, then again, I really have nothing to offer.
Make no mistake- this creeping world of Protestant Scholasticism has killed everything it has touched. When “teaching” becomes heresy, then someone must address it.
I pray that someday you will stand up for something, regardless of the scorn it generates.And I pray that no one ever sends you such an ungodly and insulting letter as you have sent me.
First thing to note is that the “blogs” to which Caner refers are my own and the Founder’s blog. So, we learn from this that while the vast majority of those who have read the relevant blog materials (including the correspondence that has been provided) have come to a different conclusion, Dr. Caner asserts “arrogance and contempt” permeates our blogs. Contempt for who or what? Evidently, for himself, I would guess. I personally would love to see his logical, and biblical, reasoning, but alas, he does not offer it to this student anymore than he has offered it to me.
Next, the newly minted President of Liberty Seminary views Reformed theology as the “creeping world of Protestant scholasticism.” It has killed everything it has touched, we are told, so surely, Dr. Caner sees himself as guarding the very life-blood of the church! This is not the first time he has indicated this kind of mentality, and it does explain his unwillingness to respond to me as a brother in Christ. And though he took a slightly more moderate stand in the jerryfalwell.com article, here he plainly claims he is opposing heresy.
Dr. Caner, at least when he wrote this e-mail, seemed to think that opposition he has received is a sign that he is doing the right thing. Evidently, he does not realize the true reason for the outcry regarding his behavior and his tremendously unscholarly approach to the subject. In any case, the response is telling indeed.
The straw-man argumentation of Caner only helps to give rise to the straw-man rejection of our Roman Catholic commentator up above. Both show equally low concerns for accuracy and truth.
By the way, for those keeping track, I have received no responses to my last e-mail to the Caners and Dr. O’Donnell. Nothing. Only the automated confirmation of receipt from Dr. O’Donnell’s system. Beyond that, silence once again has descended upon Lynchburg and Fort Worth. And so the saga continues….